What would you think if I told you there was a story starring a character who was part Indiana Jones, part James Bond, and part Jacques Cousteau, plus the story itself was a mix of Magnum P.I. and Supernatural? You would rightfully think to yourself that is a recipe for madness, but Randy Wayne White makes it all come together in his book, Mangrove Lightning.
Mangrove Lightning is a Doc Ford novel and I’ll admit right here and now that I’ve never read one before. That can seem daunting if a long-running character has been well established in previous volumes and stories (23 of them, in fact,) but I found it easy and enjoyable getting to know Doc Ford and his good friend, Tomlinson. I never once felt lost or wandering around for deeper backstory. Everything I needed to enjoy the story and the characters is right between the covers.
White brings flavors or Dan Brown and Clive Cussler to the fore and I would put this right alongside them in any contest. It’s fun, it’s layered without being dense, and the descriptive quality of the Florida habitats hits all five senses. The humidity, the taste of the swampy, marsh air, and the vivid colors painted across the skyline was crystal clear in my mind as I read along.
A perfect book for the beach, a relaxing day on the couch, or picking something up while waiting at the airport, Mangrove Lightning is delightful from the beginning and never lets up. If you’re a long time fan or read this as first-timer and want to see what White is up to, check out his website here.